I guess just about everybody who’s ever had anything much to do with the Australian film industry has a soft spot for television film reviewers Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton. Affectionately referred to by all and sundry simply as Margaret and David, for 28 years the pair agreed, disagreed, and agreed to disagree, about an estimated 8000 films they reviewed, firstly at SBS on The Movie Show and then at the ABC in At The Movies, becoming what filmmaker Greg Maclean has called “a genuinely important part of the cultural landscape of cinema in Australia.”
I first met David and Margaret when my first film Gettin’ Square was released in 2003, and thankfully they were warm and uncharacteristically unanimous in their praise of the film. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of my second movie, the boys-own comedy crime flick Crooked Business, which brought out David and Margaret’s trademark penchant for robust debate. Margaret panned the film, while David called it “a lot of fun” and awarded it a creditable three and a half stars. I can’t complain. It was all delivered with their usual charm, courtesy and good humour, and it certainly wasn’t the first or last time they disagreed about a film. Indeed, it was undoubtedly what actor Geoffrey Rush referred to as “their sparkling bickering” that made the pair so disarmingly popular for so long.
Well done Margaret and David. Thanks for 28 years of fun, information and above all sparkling bickering.